Makerere University said Thursday it would investigate the new gowns being purchased by graduands preparing for the 70th graduation ceremony.
Management had told graduands to start picking gowns and other materials by Thursday.
“The 70th Graduands of Makerere University are hereby informed that collection of Graduation Gowns, Book, and other materials will start tomorrow [Thursday] at your respective College Registrar Offices and School Registrar for MUBS.”
It added: “You should provide evidence of payment of all Graduation Fees and gown. We once again congratulate you our Class of 2020.”
The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday 11th January at 1500hrs EAT.
The celebration will feature world class performances by Chinese artists and acrobatics. The Venue will be CTF 2 and entrance is FREE.
Management then issued a notice saying “production of the patented Makerere University graduation gown is managed by a Ugandan contractor who has been producing them locally”.
“Management has taken interest in the circumstances surrounding the #Mak70thGrad gown production by the contractor and will investigate,” it noted.
The Observer reported that the first batch of graduation gowns had arrived from China.
The academic registrar Alfred Masikye Namoah confirmed the arrival of 7,000 graduation gowns out of the more than 13,000 required for the 13,509 graduands.
Team Uniform Limited, the firm contracted to exclusively supply the patented graduation gowns opted to tailor and import the graduation gowns from China following frustrations by local suppliers and intrigue within the university.
Makerere vice chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe had previously expressed concern at the customs officials who were delaying to release the gowns from Entebbe airport.
Team Uniform which has had its own supply challenges, has written several letters to the officials in charge of the ceremonies complaining over non-payment for graduation gowns introduced in 2017.
Ahead of the 67th graduation ceremony in 2017, the customised gowns run out of supply, with the contractor only managing to supply about 7,000 gowns out of the 14,000 that were needed.
The institution in 2018 adopted a mandatory fee of Shs 98,000 paid by all students for the patented graduation gown.
Going by the number of graduands this year, the university collected at least Shs 1.3bn from students for the gowns.
Unlike in previous years, students are expected to only use the exclusive and specially designed Makerere gown at the graduation ceremony.
Each year, Makerere University spends about Shs 770 million as graduation costs.